Day 1: Santa Monica & Venice Beach
When arriving to LAX I suggest using an Uber to get to your hotel destination. There was a cluster of cabs charging almost double what an Uber would cost and most Ubers are only 10 minutes or less away. We stayed in the Santa Monica area so our drive was a bit longer than expected but thankfully we didn't hit any traffic. *TIP* If you don't like crowds I suggest seeing the pier earlier in the day and preferably on a weekday if possible. We went around 12 PM on a Friday and it was almost empty.
If you like shopping; you'll love downtown Santa Monica. 3rd street promenade is the perfect place to walk around in a relaxed environment. You'll find the basics like Forever 21, Levis, and Guess. We ate at Cabo Cantina which offers massive margaritas for only $20 that can be shared between a few people.
Venice Beach is a short 15 minute Uber from the Santa Monica area. All the stores along the boardwalk have the same tourist sweaters, t-shirts, and hats so make sure you look around for the best deal before buying at the first store. We did feel a little bit more uncomfortable here so I do suggest dressing very casually. You can either watch the locals skateboard, play basketball, or watch the sunset around the canals of Venice.
Day 2: Hollywood Blvd, Melrose Ave, Rodeo Drive
Since we did go on a Saturday morning we found it a lot busier than normal and harder to actually walk on the strip. *TIP* I suggest looking up the famous Hollywood stars of whom you wish to see and map it out before going. If you have never been to Hollywood I do suggest doing a tour to see the Hollywood Sign up close, get to know the history of LA, while hopefully seeing someone famous! There is a range in pricing so I do suggest doing some research or contacting a travel agent to let them know what you would like to see most.
This was probably one of my favorite parts of the trip. I love unique stores and shopping that you can't find anywhere else and this is where you can find that. Pull out a good pair of running shoes as Melrose Ave is an extremely long road. We stopped in at Carrera Café to rest and found the cutest little coffee spot, perfect for photos.
Rodeo Drive is exactly what people tell you about. The most expensive designer fashion stores including Channel, Tiffany, and Gucci. You will be able to spot extremely expensive cars on the strip as well and might even spot a famous person!
We spent our last day back on Melrose since we loved it so much, then ended our day at the beach. *TIP* As for food my favorite place we stopped at was California Donuts and least favourite was In-N-Out. If you have a spare day you can finish off your vacation doing a few different things including....
- Disney in Anaheim
- Universal Studios
- Hit up a flea market in downtown LA
- Griffith Observatory
- The Broad